Sunday 28 February 2010

Little notes

I've said in the past that I write little notes in the P+L spreadsheet to sum up the day. A couple of weeks ago I was having a real meltdown...

Anyway, I've had a reasonable run of form again this week and some of the comments are a bit more positive...

Treating the trading more casually has certainly helped. Today was an example of some fairly straighforward trades which mounted up into a nice little sum...

Nothing too stressful there. Yesterday, on the other hand, was a whole different story! I had an equally profitable day, but under much more stressful circumstances. I was lucky to escape with the shirt still on my back to be honest.

I thought I'd be doing a bit better at this by now, to be frank. When I read posts like this

where the chap did 13K in one month alone, it certainly does make my effort look particularly pitiful. I've been thinking about what I can do to make some bigger sums as I'm still waiting for that elusive £50 day...erm, and the elusive £40 day for that matter!

I suppose that my style has something to do with it. The pros tend to have many bets in play at the same time, even across different horses; I'm afraid that my brain can't cope with such things - I'm strictly a one-in, one-out sort of trader. I suppose that may change in time, as and when the consistency comes.

I think that stakeage could probably doing with looking at again too, since I've been sitting on £40 stakes for quite some time now and it's getting too comfortable again.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Guilt-free Chinese

No, this post isn't about Chinamen who don't have a conscience, but rather that the 19 quid I earned on the horses today paid for my tea! I can thoroughly recommend the duck in plum sauce :D

I got 'taken to the cleaners' again last Saturday after an acutely poor run the week before, so I decided to take the rest of the week off to reflect, recouperate and reason. After all, the bank had taken a severe beating and my profit was being eaten away in large chunks, so it seemed sensible to stay away. It was nice to have a break as it's been a long slog getting this far and I was becoming really bored with it.

Since a return to the rat race looks ever more likely - this trading lark isn't paying E.ON and the lights are starting to flicker(!) - I decided to treat today like a 'Saturday job'...and it worked. I was relaxed and having fun. Of course, immense concentration is always required during the frenzy of Saturday trading, but those 5 minute gaps you only really find on a Saturday are great for getting 'in the zone'.

I might do a day or two in the week, as the fancy takes me, and see how things go.

Oh, and I had a good old fashioned punt on the footy - a free bet courtesy of Sky Bet - and backed Stoke beat a beleaguered Pompey. Stoke managed to find an injury time winner, so that free £15.50 should pay for next week's pork balls in sweet and sour sauce....mmmmmmmm....

Friday 12 February 2010

A sinking feeling

This week has been my toughest by far, with the -£54 loss the least of my concerns.

Things began to go wrong when I traded last Sunday; the waters were very stormy and the volatility tore me apart in the end. I make little notes on my spreadsheet after every session and my main observation for this day was...


I started chasing losses...

You: Schoolboy error!
Me: Yep
You: And you ended up losing more?
Me: Yep

Went into the session feeling positive but snippy markets left me feeling frustrated and bored. Ended up 7 English pence down!

Experimented with stakes upto £100 through boredom and chucked away a bit more of my bank.

Went too close to the off in the last race and got smashed for -£13.85...HO HO HO! Could've been a whole lot worse though!

Was £11 up before chucking it away again to end up a massive 98 pence in profit! I don't feel I did anything THAT silly today, just "one of those days".

Lessons learnt this week:

1) Stick to my usual game plan of making little bits often, rather than looking for big wins using crazy stakes.
2) Quit trading when the clock says 0:00 (I do this 99.9% of the time actually).
3) Avoid highly volatile days (these are evident when the graphs are 'mangled').
4) Chase losses to a point, then know when to quit.

The nice thing about summarising on a weekly basis is that, when the week is up, you can draw a line under it and endeavour to move on to bigger and better things.

Friday 5 February 2010

Done a ton

The horsies have been good to me this week:

You'd think I'd be pleased, but I actually feel quite underwhelmed. Don't think I'm not excited by the prospect of making more money in the future, but if the API continues to cause the havoc it did this week, I could be 'taken to the cleaners' by one of these outages. I think a bank wipeout would be too much to bear, considering the turmoil I've encountered getting this far!

I've removed the charts and P+Ls from the blog as I don't feel it's necessary to publish these and pick them apart in detail any more. The following charts are an indication of what the last 18 weeks has been like and things seem to be moving in the right direction.

I'm getting on well with the £40 stakes now and am considering another stake rise, but we'll see. The important thing to me is to strive towards new goals, my next one being a £50 day.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Pushing on

I broke some new ground today...and raised the blood pressure at the same time!

Sticking with the £40 stakes, I took a few more risks playing the 'fast money' - the money movements that occur a minute or so before the off. I also upped my work rate a bit, making more trades per race than I usually would.

Holding out for a few more ticks on a move help a lot too (I talked a few posts ago about a tendency of mine to exit a move a bit prematurely).

Week 18 into this thing and the hard work is paying off a little bit. I'm just grateful that, in light of the recent outages, the API was stable enough to trade with so I didn't have to go scrambling to Betfair's website to hurriedly close a position! =:-O